Chef reveals Glasgow origins of beloved Italian dish

Culinary talent Pino Livia, 73, is known for inventing ‘Jimmy-style’, where diners share half a portion of pasta and half a pizza.

Pino moved to the city in 1973 to live with his Glaswegian wife Alison, and after seeing customers split the dishes themselves he was inspired to create the concept. 

Glasgow Times:

He explained that it was a chance interaction with a city cabbie that resulted in the name.

Pino said: “The taxi driver said to me ‘£5 please, Jimmy’, and I thought – who the heck is, Jimmy?’

“Then it dawned on me, in Glasgow, everybody is called Jimmy, so that’s what we called the dish for everybody – Jimmy-style.

“I’d watch table after table cutting the pizzas and pastas and passing round the plates. I just thought – we should be doing the hard work for them. That’s how it all started.”

Glasgow Times:

The popular combination has been enjoyed by diners for decades and has been ordered hundreds of thousands of times across Di Maggio’s restaurants, with the name adopted by other notable restaurant chains. 

Pino said: “It’s [Jimmy Style] not something we’d do in Italy – but it belongs to Scotland and is so popular with everybody.

“Couples love it, families love it, it’s part of dining culture here.” 

To celebrate the lasting legacy of one of its most popular creations, the Di Maggio Restaurant Group (DRG) is offering half-price Jimmy-style dishes to anyone named James, Jamie or Jimmy for all of January. 

Executive Chef Andrea Ferrier, who has been with the DRG as Executive Chef for over 20 years has served countless Jimmy styles in that time. 

Glasgow Times:

He added: “Many diners come here specifically for Jimmy Style; they already know what combination they’re having when they’re walking through the revolving doors.

“A stalwart on the menu, it’s a great way to enjoy a meal with friends and to try different things. I’m sure Jimmy Style will be on the menu as long as Di Maggio’s is around.”

DRG group founder Mario Gizzi added: “Jimmy Style is synonymous with Di Maggio’s and everything the restaurant is about – family fun, sharing, and good times. 

“The name has transcended Di Maggio’s and is now just what people say when they think ‘half and half’. It’s amazing to think that it started 40 years ago at  Di Maggio’s – we’re very proud of it.”

“Jimmy January” will be available at Di Maggio’s Royal Exchange Square, East Kilbride and Theatreland until January 31.


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